So, I don't know if you've heard of this new trend or not, but it's called the "dad bod." Don't know what it is? Allow me to enlighten you, with a little help from Google: A dad bod is the physique of a male that is relatively slim but not lean or toned. Need more help in order to understand? Urban Dictionary explains it as this: A male body type that is "softly round." It's based on the idea that once a man has gotten married and had a child, then he really should no longer concern himself with keeping a nice physique. And get this. Women actually find these dad bods attractive -as in, some women would rather date a guy with a dad bod than a guy with a nicely chiseled physique. And don't start typing ALL CAPS to me about how you have to go beneath the surface and look at what's on the inside; I know that, and that's not what this post is about. I'm talking women choosing dad bods for no other reason than the simple fact that they're dad bods. Personalities are not a factor. I just don't get it.
So, a dad no longer has to concern himself with his weight or his physique after his children are born? Am I understanding this correctly? Let's see now, hmmm, exactly HOW many months did HE carry that baby inside his womb? So he has exactly how many reasons to put on baby weight? According to my calculations, it is exactly zero. Yes, that's right. Zero months and zero reasons. And a womb? He doesn't even have one. I don't think dads should have any excuses to just let themselves go once the baby is born.They should still be able to make healthy food choices and find time to exercise. I mean, it's not like they're nursing the baby or anything.
Also, why isn't the "mom bod" trending? Why aren't men claiming to prefer a rounder version of females? For goodness' sakes, women are the ones actually giving birth to the babies! Women are the ones housing an entire other being within their bodies for nine months, so one might expect these women to carry around some extra weight not only during but after pregnancy as well. Why aren't women allowed to be a little - or even more than a little - overweight without someone being critical or even downright hateful? And this goes for all women, those who are currently or have recently been or have NEVER been pregnant. Why, how many times have we heard things like, "She's had over a year to lose that baby weight," or, "Are you sure you're not carrying twins?" Then, of course, there's the classic, "She'd be so pretty if she would just lose some of that weight."
If you think I was harsh on men in the second paragraph, some of it was tongue-in-cheek. Most of it, however, was based on expectations that society places on women. The pressure that we feel to be thinner or more beautiful is crushing to our self-esteem at times. It's enough to bring on eating disorders, depression, and self-harm issues in many females. Even young girls feel that they are worthless if they don't see themselves as beautiful.
I know that obesity is unhealthy. I eat right and exercise, and I encourage others to do the same. So I also don't need any irate people writing to tell me about that, either. But eating right and exercising should be about HEALTH, and it should be for BOTH men and women. It shouldn't be something that's forced down women's throats so that we feel we have to meet some unattainable standard of beauty, while at the same time men get a pass to eat however they choose and do very little exercise because it's a trend and because no one really puts pressure on men to look a certain way. There's a double standard in our society, and I am sick of it.
Men are allowed to age gracefully. When a man begins to get a little gray hair around his temples or in his beard, people call it sexy or distinguished. A woman's grey hair will get her called old. Confession: I get a few white hairs from time to time, and I immediately rush right in and color over them. I'm not ready to let them show. I don't really mind getting older, but I do mind people thinking that I'm "old." It's just not that cool to be an old woman. I don't care what that song says about older women being beautiful lovers; one look at Ulta or Sephora and you know that women are paying big bucks to look young. Yes, I know that dying your hair grey is a trend. But that's for young people. It's not the same as actually going gray, and everybody knows it.
So, yeah, this whole dad bod trend has ticked me off. At first, I thought it was funny, but then I contemplated it a little longer. That's when I realized how it truly brings to light how unfairly women are treated in regards to beauty standards. Why is it trendy for men to be out of shape? As I thought about it more and more, I got angry. Not taking care of your body should never be a trend, but if it is, then why isn't a trend for both sexes?
Finally, I do not expect my spouse to have washboard abs, nor does he expect me to look like a supermodel. I'm not saying that in this post. I'm also not saying that we should spend excessive amounts of time in the gym, away from our families, in order to attain the perfect body. I'm saying that both dads and moms should take care of their bodies. I'm saying that women should be treated with respect and admired for their beauty regardless of their weight or body type. I'm saying that I want my daughters to grow up in a world where it's okay not to look like Scarlett Johansson, and, also, sweetheart, your husband probably won't look like Jason Momoa, either. And that's okay.